Chicago stores are banned from selling flavored vaping products, but flavored tobacco such as menthol cigarettes can still be sold, under new rules passed by the City Council in a 46-4 vote.
Ald. Matt O’Shea had hoped to ban the sale of all flavored nicotine products, including flavored cigarettes and cigars.
“I’m asking for your support because we all know vaping is unsafe for children, and we all know that vaping products are marketed to children. … ,” O’Shea said.
Opponents said smokers would just cross into the suburbs to buy flavored cigarettes. Plus, some say higher prices and stricter restrictions on tobacco sales in Chicago could lead to a gang-controlled underground market.
And Ald. Nick Sposato, 38th, said now isn’t the right time to further handicap small retailers struggling because of the pandemic.
“We’re just killing businesses in this city,” he said.
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed SB 810, a flavor ban. SB 810 was passed by the legislature in March of this year under the belief that it would raise the age to purchase vapor products to 21. But, due to federal legislation passed in December 2019, the legal age to purchase vapor products was already 21 in Florida making that portion of the bill “superfluous” the governor said.
The Vapor Technology Association (VTA) applauded Gov. DeSantis’ decision.
“Governor DeSantis has shown true leadership and understanding in his decision to veto SB 810,” said Tony Abboud, Executive Director of the VTA. “On behalf of all the vapor companies, large and small, and the more than one million vapers in the state of Florida, VTA thanks Governor DeSantis for his bold decision to protect Florida’s public health and economy, which comes at a time of great uncertainty for many. This is the positive reinforcement the industry and the people of Florida need.”